David Grimes, owner of David E. Grimes Co. in Hollister, CA, has been involved in virtually all aspects of the garlic industry over the course of his career of more than 35 years, according to the company web site.
Mr. Grimes provides consulting services in garlic growing, harvesting, packing and shipping for garlic growers in California and Mexico. In addition, he brokers garlic from various producing areas to customers “all over the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Australia,” the web site states. He also provides “complete on-site inspections for quality and sizing requirements for clients or potential buyers.”
Mr. Grimes said July 20 that his customers are primarily wholesalers, but also include some retailers.
“I buy from all different growers,” he said.
The Mexican garlic harvest “is pretty much finished right now,” he said.
The new California garlic harvest was well underway. “We are harvesting some rojo [red] garlic right now” that is destined for Australia, he said. “Yields are good,” but “it has been affected by the rain” because of unusual amount of rainfall in June.
“The late crop is fine from what I’ve heard and from what I’ve seen around,” he said. “That will be good. The late crop doesn’t always get as big a size, but it should be nice and white.”
“The big question mark right now is China,” he said, noting that Chinese garlic, which is said to be “very, very nice” and in greater supply this year than last, had started to trickle into the United States but would not arrive in big volume for another couple of weeks.
Some customers will go to the Chinese garlic when it arrives, and some won’t, he said. “But still, it is going to drive down other prices, I think.”
Mr. Grimes brokers some peeled garlic as well as fresh whole garlic. The prices of that product, also, will be affected by Chinese imports this year. “I haven’t heard anything on the peeled prices yet, but I am sure it will be a lot cheaper, too.” That also will begin to arrive in quantity around early August.